FBI officials say no clear evidence links Trump to Russia, but the devil's in the details

Donald Trump has no direct ties to Vladimir Putin, FBI tells The New York Times
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If the Russian government is trying to insert chaos into the U.S. presidential election — as unidentified FBI officials tell The New York Times — it seems to be doing a pretty good job, especially regarding Russian meddling in the election. After FBI Director James Comey unexpectedly inserted himself in the presidential race to announce new emails potentially related to Hillary Clinton's email server, some Democrats urged him to be similarly forthcoming about any investigation into Donald Trump's alleged connections to Russia.

On Monday, several news outlets reported that Comey had opposed the U.S. publicly blaming Russia for meddling in the election out of concern that doing so a month away from the election would make the FBI seem partisan. Also, Slate disclosed a story several reporters and the FBI had been chasing about odd secret communications between a Trump Organization server and servers owned by Russia's powerful Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank. FBI officials tell The New York Times that the FBI "ultimately concluded that there could be an innocuous explanation, like a marketing email or spam, for the computer contacts."

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